News / Business / 23rd September 2020
TAKE FIVE: with Adam Drabarek from the Imperial Hotel Coonabarabran
Tell me about your business:
The pub is one of the oldest businesses in town. I took it on in July 2018. We offer great budget accommodation (single, double and ensuite rooms), with shared bathrooms, kitchenette and a nice balcony area overlooking the centre of town.
We also have a main bar showing live sports with TAB and Keno, a great range of wines, beers,RTDsandtapbeer, and a saloon bar that has been recently renovated by Jakki Brady. The saloon bar is also the home of the Kookas rugby team, which won the competition this season, the first one in 28 years. Some of their memorabilia is displayed in the bar.
Moving out the back, there is a fresh-looking beer garden that is ready for this summer. We are also very proud of our bistro and the meals it produces. Chef, Kerryn Miller, runs the kitchen with a great team. We have been getting great feedback from locals and tourists about the great meals. I think we have the best chicken schnitzels in town - chef crumbs them himself.
What has been the biggest impact that COVID-19 has had on your business?
We can’t have any parties, so we’re very much looking forward to having Birdy and Nikki-D back in! Another ongoing impact is the limited capacity and requirement for patrons to be seated while drinking. There is also an additional cost of employing a COVID Safe Hygiene Marshall. But the biggest impact was having the shut down for 10 weeks from the 23rd March.
Have there been any silver linings?
There has been an increase in tourism in town and this has helped with evening trade.
You've planned an air guitar competition - how did that idea come about?
Jakki came up with the idea, as some “COVID safe” fun. You can come down and jam to your favourite rock track and have a laugh, and maybe win a prize! Who doesn’t love doing some air guitar action?
As a young business owner, did you ever think that your business would be significantly impacted by a global pandemic?
It was an absolute nightmare to shut down. For the Easter and ANZAC Day periods we had a fantastic entertainment schedule lined up - unfortunately all events needed to be postponed.
How can local people help local businesses, now and into the future?
Spread the good word and tell your friends to visit town and support the businesses within it. Have a schooner in Coona!
What do you hope that 2021 has in store for the Imperial Hotel?
You can expect some great parties when we can open up the dance floor! We’ll also look at some more renovations throughout the hotel in 2021.